Can my auto insurance be forced to pay for my daughter’s car accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my auto insurance be forced to pay for my daughter’s car accident?

She had an accident almost 1 1/2 years ago, so of course my premiums were going to increase. However, I had not heard from my insurer on how much my payment was going to increase until after I send in my regular payment about year ago, which was $282. I sent it through my bank account online. I made the regular payment on 06/21 and a couple of days later I received a statement from my insurance stating that my payment had gone up to $389 and my policy was going to terminate on 06/25 but they gave a 5 day grace period. Since I sent them the $282 I thought I could just send them the rest. My daughter then had another car accident on 06/30 so therefore my insurer said that I didn’t have coverage because my policy had terminated. I then told them that if my policy was terminated how come they accepted my regular payment of $282? However, they could not give me a straight answer. So now the insurance company from the other party that my daughter crashed into wants to collect from her or me since I am the co-signer of her car, $66,000. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on May 29, 2019 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

f you were not paid in full by the end of the grace period, your policy could be legally terminated by them, though in that case, they should return the partial payment (you could sue them for it, such as in small claims court, if they don't). If you had paid the full by the last day of the grace period they gave you, your policy would still be in force and you could sue them to force you to cover you. (You would sue for "breach of contract," or not obeying their contractual obligation--the insurance policy is a contract--to provide coverage.) The issue is the timing of when you paid up in full--whether it was in time or not.

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